The Organ

Organ built and installed by Messrs Wadsworth & Bro. of Manchester in 1902.
Enlarged and renovated by Messrs Henry Willis & Sons Ltd of London in 1957.
Renovated by Midland Organ Builders of Nottingham in 1978.

The Wadsworth Organ

SPECIFICATION
Compass of Manuals CC to G 4½ octaves
Pedal Organ CCC to F 2½ octaves
GREAT ORGAN FEET SWELL ORGAN (enc) FEET
Bourdon 16 Open Diapason 8
Open Diapason No. 1 8 Rohr Flute 8
Open Diapason No. 2 8 Gamba 8
Stopped Diapason 8 Voix Célestes 8
Principal 4 Gemshorn 4
Wald Flute 4 Cornet Mixture 3 rks
Fifteenth 2 Contra Oboe 16
Mixture 2 rks Cornopean 8
Trumpet 8 Clarionet 8
Tremulant
PEDAL ORGAN FEET CHOIR ORGAN (enc) FEET
Open Diapason 16 Lieblich Gedact 8
Bourdon 16 Dulciana 8
Principal 8 Nason Flute 4
Bass Flute 8 Nazard 22/3
Flautino 2
Tierce 13/5
ACCESSORIES
6 Couplers:
Great-Pedal Swell-Pedal Choir-Pedal
Swell-Great Choir-Great Swell-Choir
3 Combination Pedals to Great
3 Combination Pedals to Swell
1 Reversible Pedal, Great to Pedal
2 Balanced Swell and Choir Pedals
2 Swell Octave and Swell Sub Octave

The organ specification was compiled from programmes of services for the opening of the organ after renovation – Sunday November 3rd 1957 and Sunday January 14th 1979 – with corrections from inspection in 2011, and then rearranged into a conventional listing order. The Great Organ Stopped Diapason 8 appears to have been described as Claribel Flute 8 in the programmes.

The specification is listed on the National Pipe Organ Register.

The Organ: General Information

Organ Pipes

We are fortunate in having a fine, well-preserved pipe-organ in our church which is usually used for morning worship and for festival services. Built by Wadsworth Bros of Manchester in 1902 and enlarged by Henry Willis of London in 1957, it is a 3-manual tracker-action instrument in a pine case.

The organ comes into its own when accompanying congregational hymn-singing from “Singing the Faith” and “Hymns & Psalms” (the current Methodist hymn-books) and is indispensable at weddings and funerals. It is particularly suitable for the extensive repertoire of English organ music but works by J S Bach, Widor and Franck are also regularly heard as voluntaries.

We have been well served by our Organists and thanks are due to them, to other occasional organists, and also to the team of pianists who play the Woodchester piano for evening services.

The Organ: History

The organ was built and installed by Messrs Wadsworth & Bro. of Manchester in 1902 and was dedicated on Thursday 4th December 1902. It was a gift by Mr William Roberts for the opening of the church (Thursday 29th May 1902) but, as it could not be completed in time, it was installed and dedicated later in the year. Wadsworth & Bro. list the original cost as £700.

As 1923 was the 21st Anniversary of the Church, it was decided to redecorate the church premises, install electric lighting and carry out some electrification of the organ. Further works recorded by Wadsworth & Bro. were cleaning and new blower (£140) in 1924 and pneumatic action to Swell (£160) in 1934.

During the 1952 Golden Jubilee Celebrations, Rev Ernest W Tansley of Ilford was the speaker at an evening rally on Saturday 24th May 1952 (Wesley Day). He referred to the many memories that returned to him as he shared in the joy of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations, including “perspiring” times as the organ blower!

The organ was enlarged and renovated by Messrs Henry Willis & Sons Ltd of London in 1957. Revoiced Stops in Great Organ: Open Diapason No. 2 8; in Swell Organ: Oboe 16, Cornet Mixture 3 ranks and Clarionet 8 (moved from Choir Organ). New Stops in Great Organ: Claribel Flute 8; in Choir Organ: Flautino 2, Nason Flute 4, Nazard 22/3 and Tierce 13/5 (described as Tierce 11/3 in the programmes). A Dedication Service for the opening of the organ after renovation was conducted by Rev Frank W Hargreaves on Sunday November 3rd 1957.

1978 saw a major overhaul of the organ by Midland Organ Builders of Nottingham, taking three months to complete. A Thanksgiving Service for the opening of the organ after renovation was conducted by Rev George W Simons on Sunday January 14th 1979.

1987 saw a further overhaul, with the organ pedals action being re-leathered.

A Cragg Organ Builders (Midlands) of Beeston maintained and tuned the organ for many years up to 2006.

Henry Groves & Son Ltd of Nottingham have maintained and tuned the organ since 2006.

Further Information

The List of Organists and the Choirs section give further information about the organists.